Recently my daughter fell ill. A virus struck hard and fast. Influenza headlines flooded my mind. Google was no solace. Thirty children had died, and the predictions called for more, many more, before the influenza season comes to an end.
After Jesus finished feeding the five thousand, he sent his disciples across the lake on a boat while he went up a mountain to pray. For those experienced fishermen, I suppose it wouldn’t have been such a big deal to cross the lake in the darkness of night.
But it was.
We’re told “the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it” (Matthew 14:24).
Maybe it would have been okay if they were still near land. But it was dark, and the lake was rough. You can throw out knowledge and experience when ongoing and seemingly useless rowing leaves you fatigued and no closer to shore.
I know. I’ve been a mom for almost 18 years. There have been many illnesses, accidents, and close calls. There have been injuries and heartbreak and more sticky situations than I care to recall. And God has seen us through them all. But somehow in the darkness of night, worry is what sticks closer than a brother. Worry takes my eyes off of Jesus and focuses on the waves instead.
Jesus could have stopped the storm. Instead he walked to the disciples in the storm.
He’s with us in our storms too, asking us to trust again.
Didn’t I just feed the thousands with a few loaves?
Didn’t I get you through the last episode?
Yes and yes. And like Peter, I recognize God is there, I want to walk on the waves, but I sink still. And Jesus once again comes to me, lifts me out of the water, and chides, “You of little faith. . . . Why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31).
My daughter’s fever was gone by morning, and I was left to contemplate my Savior’s power and mercy. On smooth water I sometimes take him for granted. But in the darkness of night, when the waves rail against me, I’m so glad my Savior walks to me still.
Amber Albee Swenson has authored four books, writes an occasional devotional blog, and is a regular contributor to several Christian organizations. In 2011 she started speaking to women with the intent of bringing the Bible to life in tangible, applicable ways.